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Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Sony A7 III (2022): Which Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Should You Buy?

Back in the day, full-frame cameras were typically reserved for professionals as they were pretty expensive. But now, even enthusiasts and amateurs can enjoy the full-frame experience thanks to the influx of affordable mirrorless models on the market.

The Panasonic Lumix S5 and the Sony A7 III are perfect examples of this, both of which are currently enjoying a lot of popularity. However, deciding between the two can be a little daunting. To help you out, here’s an in-depth comparison that covers their design, image quality, and video quality.

Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Sony A7 III Comparison Chart

ModelPanasonic Lumix S5 Sony A7 III
 Panasonic Lumix S5 chartSony A7 iii chart
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
TypeMirrorlessMirrorless
Megapixels24.2MP24.2MP
LensL-mountA-mount
Dimensions133 x 97 x 82mm127 x 96 x 74mm
Weight714g650g

Design

The Panasonic Lumix S5 and the Sony A7 III are both more compact than their predecessors but come with trade-offs.

Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Sony A7 iii design
The Sony A7 III is lighter than the The Panasonic Lumix S5.

The Panasonic Lumix S5 and the Sony A7 III are both smaller versions of their respective predecessors. That said, the A7 III is the more compact model of the two, shorter by 1mm, thinner by 8mm, and narrower by 6mm compared to the Lumix S5. The A7 III is significantly lighter as well, weighing in at 650g while the A7 III is at 714g. So if portability is of high priority to you, the A7 III will be the easier model to carry around with you on your travels. Do note, however, that the lens you use will affect their overall weight and portability.

As for their viewfinders, both models seem to have been downgraded compared to their predecessors, most probably as a trade-off to their more compact bodies. The S5 has a 2.36M-dot OLED panel while the A7 III is at 2.4M dots, both falling short of the 3.69M dots you usually find in other models in the same price range. Their displays seem to have taken a hit too as they’re not able to go as bright as the screens of their predecessors.

Image Quality

The Panasonic Lumix 5 shines in hi-res photography while the Sony A7 III excels in low-light photography and noise reduction.

Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Sony A7 iii image quality
Both models have a 24MP sensor.

Compared to other 24MP cameras, the Panasonic Lumix 5 is at the same level of image quality. It delivers a lot of clarity in both RAW and JPEG formats, even with higher ISO values. But where it truly shines is in capturing high-resolution images. It has a 96MP hi-res mode which adjusts the sensor and puts together eight images, resulting in extra sharp details. What’s great is that unlike its predecessor, you can get both RAW and JPEG formats straight out of the Lumix S5. In addition, its hi-res mode comes with a motion compensation option which allows you to capture movements of the real world. But of course, you still get the best results when you’re shooting static subjects combined with the use of a sturdy tripod.

As for the Sony A7 III, it has a 24MP sensor as well which delivers impressive RAW detail capture. But what really gives it an edge over its competitors is its low-light performance. Thanks to its dual gain architecture, it adjusts the sensor to a higher mode of sensitivity and increases dynamic range, giving it a leg up in terms of noise performance. In addition, the A7 III also excels in JPEG noise reduction and sharpening and is arguably one of the best cameras in this department. With Sony’s context-sensitive noise reduction technology, it’s able to emphasize all the right details sans any haloing on the edges. You’ll see just how effective and well-done the sharpening is when you compare the JPEG images to the RAW ones.

Video Quality

The Sony A7 III enjoys better video quality than the Panasonic Lumix S5.

Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Sony A7 iii video quality
Both models record in 4K.

What’s commendable about the Sony A7 III is that it makes use of the entire sensor readout and then downscales it. When you’re recording in 4K/24p, for example, the footage is oversampled from a 6K video recording without any field of view crop, resulting in much more detailed footage. And if you’re recording in 4K/30p, the footage is oversampled from a 5K video recording with a 1.2x field of view crop, which only slightly decreases the sharpness of details. In addition, you won’t have much of a problem with rolling shutter with the A7 III, except maybe when you’re panning very fast or recording action scenes. You can always record in 4K/30p if you want to further improve its rolling shutter performance.

As for the Panasonic Lumix S5, its 4K/60p recording has an APS-C crop, making it less detailed with higher noise levels than the A7 III’s full-frame 4K recording. Its rolling shutter performance is also noticeably weaker, putting it on par with most other full-frame mirrorless cameras in the same price range.

Verdict

The Sony A7 III wins against the Panasonic Lumix S5 for its video quality.

Panasonic Lumix S5

Panasonic Lumix S5 verdict

Sony A7 III

Sony A7 iii verdict

The Sony A7 III may be the older model of the two but it’s the winner of this comparison because of its video quality. Because it oversamples, it’s able to capture footage with a lot more detail and clarity. It also has better rolling shutter performance. In addition, it’s also slightly more compact and scores higher in the portability department. That’s not to say, however, that the Panasonic Lumix S5 is a bad camera. It’s on par with the A7 III when it comes to image quality, both equipped with 24MP full-frame sensors.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Panasonic Lumix S5 good for photography?

The Panasonic Lumix 5 shines in hi-res photography. It has a 96MP hi-res mode which adjusts the sensor and puts together eight images, resulting in extra sharp details.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Panasonic Lumix S5 waterproof?

The Panasonic Lumix S5 has weather sealing that makes it splash and dust-resistant.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Sony A7 III still a good option?

Despite being an older camera, the Sony A7 III is still a good option for its 24MP full-frame sensor, excellent low-light performance, noise reduction, and 4K recording.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Sony A7 III a DSLR?

The Sony A7 III is a a full-frame mirrorless camera.

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.